Finnish Defence Forces

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Finnish Defence Forces
Puolustusvoimat  (Finnish)
Försvarsmakten  (Swadish)
Suomen Puolustusvoimien tornileijona.svg
The touer an the lion is the seembol o the Finnish Defence Forces
Foondit25 January 1918
Service branchesSuomen Maavoimien tunnus.svg Finnish Airmy

Suomen Ilmavoimien tunnus.svg Finnish Air Force
Suomen Merivoimien tunnus.svg Finnish Navy
Finnish Defence Command insignia.png Finnish Defence Intelligence Agency

War time only:
Rajavartiolaitoksen logo.svg Finnish Border Gaird
WabsteidOfficial website
Preses o the RepublicSauli Niinistö
Prime MeenisterAntti Rinne
Meenister o DefenceAntti Kaikkonen
Chief o DefenceGeneral Timo Kivinen
Militar age18
Conscription165, 255, or 347 days term
Available for
militar service
1,155,368 males, age 16–49 (2010 est.),
1,106,193 females, age 16–49 (2010 est.)
Fit for
militar service
955,151 males, age 16–49 (2010 est.),
912,983 females, age 16–49 (2010 est.)
Reachin militar
age annually
32,599 males (2010 est.),
31,416 females (2010 est.)
Active personnel8,056 staff[1]
25,300 conscripts[1]
Reserve personnel900,000[2]
Deployed personnel486[1]
Budget3.137 billion; 2019 ($3.564 billion)
Percent o GDP1.29%; 2019[3]
Domestic suppliersPatria
Foreign suppliers Unitit States
Annual exportsVolume of about €133 million (2016 est.)[6]
Relatit airticles
RanksFinnish militar ranks

The Finnish Defence Forces (Finnish: Puolustusvoimat, Swadish: Försvarsmakten) are responsible for the defence o Finland. A universal male conscription is in place, unner which aw men abuin 18 years o age serve for 165, 255, or 347 days. Alternative non-militar service for aw men, an volunteer service for aw weemen are possible.

Finland is the ane non-NATO European Union state borderin Roushie. Finland's offeecial policy states that a wartime militar strength o 280,000 personnel consteetutes a sufficient deterrent. The airmy conseest o a heichly mobile field airmy backed up bi local defence units. The airmy defends the naitional territory an its militar strategy employs the uise o the heivlh forestit terrain an numerous lochs tae wear doun an aggressor, insteid o attemptin tae hauld the attackin airmy on the frontier.

Finland's defence budget equals approximately 3.1 billion or 1.3% of GDP. The voluntary owerseas service is heichly popular an truips serve aroond the warld in UN, NATO an EU missions. Hamelaund defence willingness against a superior enemy is at 76%, ane o the heichest rates in Europe.[7]

In war time the Finnish Border gaird (which is its ain militar unit in peacetime) will become pairt o the Finnish Defence Forces.

History[eedit | eedit soorce]

Ceevil War[eedit | eedit soorce]

Establishment o the first Heidquarters o the Finnish Defence Forces on 2 Februar 1918

Airter Finland's declaration o unthirldom on 6 December 1917, the Ceevic Gairds wur proclaimed the truips o the govrenment on 25 Januar 1918 and C.G.E Mannerheim wis appointit as Commander-in-Chief o these forces the next day. Fechtin atween the White gairds (as the Ceevil Gairds wur commonly kent) an the Red Gairds haed already broken oot aboot a week afore aroond Viipuri, in what became kent as the Finnish Ceevil War.

In the war, the Whites wur victorious in lairge pairt thanks tae the leadership o Mannerheim an the lead bi example offencive mindedness o 1,800 German-trained Finnish Jägers, who brought wi thaim German tactical doctrine an militar cultur. The post-war years wur characterised bi the Volunteer Campaigns that came tae an end in 1920 wi the signing o the Treaty o Tartu, which ended the state of war atween Finland an Soviet Russia an defined the internaitionally recognised mairches o Finland.

Interwar years[eedit | eedit soorce]

Efter winnin the Ceevil War, the Finnish peacetime airmy wis organised as three diveesions an a brigade bi professional German officers. It became the basic structure for the next 20 years. The coast wis gairdit bi umwhile czarist coastal fortifeecations an ships taken as prizes o war. The Air Force haed already been formed in Mairch 1918, but remained a pairt o the Airmy an did nae become a fully independent fechtin force until 1928.

The new govrenment institutit conscription efter the Ceevil War an awso introduced a mobilisation seestem an compulsory refresher coorses for reservists. An academy providin basic officer training (Kadettikoulu) wis established in 1919, the foondin o a General Staff College (Sotakorkeakoulu) follaed in 1924, an in 1927 a tactical training schuil (Taistelukoulu) for company-grade an junior officers an NCOs wis set up. The requirement o ane year o compulsory service wis greater than that imponed bi ony ither Scandinavian kintra in the 1920s an the 1930s, but poleetical opposeetion tae defence spending left the militar badly equipped tae resist an attack bi the Soviet Union, the anelie security threat in Finnish eyes.

Warld War II[eedit | eedit soorce]

Finnish sodger equipped wi Lahti-Saloranta M-26 durin the Winter War.

When the Soviets invadit in November 1939, the Finns defeatit the Reid Airmy on numerous occasions, includin at the crucial Battle o Suomussalmi. These successes wur in lairg pairt thanks tae the application o motti tactics. While the Finns ultimately lost the war an were forced tae agree tae the Moscow Peace Treaty, the Soviet objective o conquerin Finland failed, in pairt due to the threat of Alleed intervention. Durin the war the Finns lost 25,904 men, while Soviet losses wur 167,976 dead.[8]

Finnish troops equipped with Panzerfaust antitank weapons walk past a destroyed Soviet T-34 tank durin the Battle o Tali-Ihantala. The lead soldier is awso airmed wi a Suomi KP/-31.

Finland fought in the Continuation War alangside Germany frae 1941 tae 1944. Thanks tae German aid, the airmy wis nou much better equipped, an the period o conscription haed been increased tae twa years, makin possible the formation o saxteen infantry diveesions. Haein initially deployed on the defencive, the Finns tuik advantage o the weakening o the Soviet positions as a consequence o Operation Barbarossa, swiftly recoverin their lost territories an invadin Soviet territory in Karelie, eventually settlin intae defensive positions frae December 1941 onwards. The Soviet Offencive p Juin 1944 undid these Finnish gains an, while failin in its objective o destroyin the Finnish airmy an forcing Finland's uncondeetional surrender, forced Finland oot o the war. The Finnish wur able tae preserve their unthirldom with key defensive victories ower the Reid Airmy. The Battle o Tali-Ihantala bein very signeeficant.

Cauld War[eedit | eedit soorce]

The demobilisation an regroupin o the Finnish Defence Forces wur cairied oot in late 1944 unner the superveesion o the Soviet-dominatit Alleed Control Commission. Follaein the Treaty o Paris in 1947, which imponed restrictions on the size an equipment o the airmed forces an required disbandment o the Ceevic Gaird, Finland reorganised its defense forces. The fact that the conditions o the peace treaty did nae include prohibitions on reserves or mobilisation made it possible tae contemplate an adequate defense establishment within the prescribit leemits. The reorganisation resultit in the adoption o the brigade -in place o the deevision- as the staundart formation.[9]

For the first twa decades aifter the Seicont Warld War, the Finnish Defence Forces relied lairgley on obsolete wartime material. Defence spendin remained minimal until the early 1960s. Durin the peak o the Cauld War, the Finnish govrenment made a conscious effort tae increase defence caipabeelitt. This resultit in the commissionin o seiveral new wappens seestem an the strengthenin o the defence o Finnish Lapland bi the establishment o new garrisons in the aurie. Frae 1968 onwards, the Finnish govrenment adoptit the doctrine o territorial defence, which requires the uise o lairge laund auries tae delay an wear oot a potential aggressor. The doctrine wis complementit bi the concept o total defence which calls for the uise o aw resources o society for naitional defence in case o a crisis. Frae the mid-1960s onwards the Finnish Defence Forces awso bygane tae specifically prepare tae defeat a strategic strike, the kind which the Soviet Union employed successfully tae topple the govrenment o Czechoslovakie in 1968. In an aw-oot confrontation atween the twa major blocs, Finnish objective waud hae been tae prevent ony militar incursions tae Finnish territory an thereby keep Finland ootside the war.

Recent history[eedit | eedit soorce]

The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 did nae annihilate the militar threat perceivit bi the govrenment, but the naitur o the threat haes chynged. While the concept o total, territorial defence wis nae droppit, the militar plannin haes muived toward the caipabeelity tae prevent an frustrate a strategic attack touard the vital regions o the kintra.

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Global Exchange of Information on Defence Planning 2019" (PDF). Retrieved 3 November 2019.
  2. Kotimaa. "900 000 suomalaista saa pian postia armeijalta – HS kertoo reserviläiskirjeen sisällön - Kotimaa - Helsingin Sanomat". Retrieved 2017-02-18.
  3. "Puolustusbudjetin osuus bruttokansantuotteesta" (in Finnish). Finnish Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  4. "Gil/Spike/NT-Dandy". GlobalSecurity.Org.
  5. Egozi, Arie (26 October 2011). "Finland extends unmanned systems evaluation". Flightglobal.
  6. "Annual Report According to the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports" (PDF). Retrieved 24 December 2017.
  7. "Maanpuolustustahto" (in Finnish). Findikaattori. 10 December 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2015.
  8. Anna Ruha (1 January 2014). "Tapaus nimeltä talvisota" (PDF) (in Finnish). University of Helsinki. Retrieved 21 May 2015. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  9. Text from PD source: US Library of Congress: A Country Study: Finland, Library of Congress Call Number DL1012.A74 1990.

Bibliography[eedit | eedit soorce]

  • Kronlund, Jarl (project leader) Suomen Puolustuslaitos 1918-1939, Porvoo: WSOY, 1988, ISBN 951-0-14799-0.

Freemit airtins[eedit | eedit soorce]